To the surprise of absolutely no one, Kevin Kisner began this week’s WGC-Dell Match Play with yet another victory in group play, the match-play legend disposing of Australia’s Marc Leishman, 4 and 3.
With the win, he’s now 17-6-1 in this event.
We’d trot out the tried-and-true “how did he not make the Ryder Cup team?!” take, but the fact of the matter is the US team did just fine without Kisner at Whistling Straits last year. Having said that, the result would have likely been identical (or even better) with Kisner plugged in as one of the six captain’s picks.
That will prove especially true if Kisner reaches the Round of 16 for the third time in his six appearances in this event, two of those appearances ending in a victory and a runner-up finish. What is it that makes him so dominant in this format? Well, besides being really good at golf, Kisner perfectly explained.
“Just trying to be really annoying,” Kisner said. “When you’re really annoying it can get under their skin. I don’t have the most firepower but never give a hole away is kind of my MO, and that’s what I love about this golf course is I can chase the ball out there in the fairways and hole a few putts.”
Sums it up nicely. “Annoying” is the name of the game when it comes to match play, both on tour and in your money games on the weekend. We all know those golfers who simply won’t go away in match play, and it’s always incredibly annoying. The moment you think they are out of the hole and you’ve got it won, suddenly you’re standing over a five-footer just to halve the hole. That’s annoying.
This would also explain why the likes of Kevin Na, Brian Harman, Patrick Reed and even Matt Kuchar excel in the match-play format. None of them bomb it like the big boys, but they can be more annoying than a fly that got in the house when it comes time to fight for a par to halve. Kisner is certainly on to something.